Diagnosis

I’m sitting at my laptop with a 12 week old kitten curled up in my robe, nuzzling. I’m setting up my blog again, changing the name, preparing to let go of what was but not wanting to let go of it all. A year ago I wrote a blog post about plant based eating and planned to write a lot more but then, well, 2020. I’m struggling with how to write again. It’s been so long.

This isn’t the first time I’ve reinvented this blog. In fact, this is its third incarnation. Ten years ago I wrote anonymously as “A Life Less Scripted”. That blog was mainly about my experience with being sober for 3 years. When I decided that I didn’t want to be anonymous anymore, I created “Mended Musings”. I delved into the root of my anxiety, the sexual and emotional abuse I suffered as a child. I decided I didn’t have to label myself an alcoholic to heal but that I still had a lot of healing to do.

Now this. It’s Nature Karen. The name comes from a YouTube video that I posted on my son’s channel a few years ago. We live by a wash that sometimes runs after a heavy rain. It was a Sunday afternoon and as we walked to the wash we came across an epic battle between a tarantula hawk and a tarantula. A tarantula hawk is a wasp that lures a tarantula out into the open so that it can paralyze it with its sting and lay its babies on it. When the babies hatch, they eat the tarantula alive. It’s brutal but as my husband told me that day, “It’s nature Karen.” The video has over 15 million views and before YouTube banned comments on children’s channels, it had over 13,000 comments. I personally monitored every one of them and can’t tell you how many people commented about what my husband told me that day. “It’s nature Karen.” (The second most common comment was, “Damn nature, you scary.”)

There no denying that nature is brutal. I like the word Glennon Doyle coined, “brutiful”, because life is brutal and beautiful. Just like 12 week old kittens are devilish and adorable. Nothing is ever just one thing. Why should my blog be any different?

My husband, Matthew, was recently diagnosed with MS. A year ago I was so excited to share the health benefits we found from eating a plant based diet but nothing is ever that simple. Everyone is different. What is beneficial for one person could be disastrous for another. In the case of MS, research shows that proteins from certain foods (such as legumes, dairy, soy and grains with gluten) closely resemble the proteins in myelin, the protective nerve coating that is being attacked by my husband’s immune system. The very diet that we thought was making us healthier might have contributed to his disease (find out more).

Matthew is the most positive person I know. I’m the kind of person who visualizes all of the catastrophes that could happen while he envisions blue skies and smooth roads. I like to plan and he likes to wing it. I make lists and he makes memories. But even I, with my propensity to expect the worse, never saw this coming.

Matthew is 49 years old. We’ve been married 25 years. When we told our family and close friends about his diagnosis, nearly everyone said the same thing. “You’re a good team. You got this.” It may have taken a quarter of a century but his optimism has rubbed off on me. I think we got this too.

This is all very new and I am far from being an expert. But, I’m going to write about this like I’ve written about everything else that deeply affects me because writing heals me and grounds me. I will take all of that I can get.

 

11 thoughts on “Diagnosis

  1. I’m nodding along Karen, as I read your post and the comments. I did a vegan diet for four years before being diagnosed with ME (also affecting the myelin). Just recently found out that legumes are not the right thing to eat. Ah life’s ironies. Reinventing ourselves, shifting focus, all fodder for the soul.

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  2. I’m so sorry to hear about this diagnosis. I think your reinventions are proof that you continue to grow in a direction of not only surviving, but thriving, and I have no doubt you and your husband will tackle this together with love, strength, and grace. You’ve already got your mindset on board. I have a very dear friend who was diagnosed with MS maybe two years ago after a similar scenario. She felt like she was finally taking control of her health only to find that her increased protein intake may have been one of the things that brought on the MS symptoms. She is doing well though. I’m so happy you will be sharing your story. I think it can be healing not just for you, but for others as well. Sending love!

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    1. Thank you Kelly! I appreciate your kind words. I’m glad your friend is doing well. It’s such a mind blowing disease with so many different symptoms and outcomes. I’ve known people with it but I never thought I’d have to get to know it so intimately. I’m glad to be writing again! And super excited to go back and catch up with what you’ve been doing. xxoo 😘

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  3. Sending love Karen….I’m sorry to hear about your husband too, and know the two of you will make the best choices going forward
    That re-invention thing, lol. I just stop and start writing after long periods of time. I’m glad you’re back, and not sure I’, glad I’m back et but here I am

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Mish. I had the blog set to private for awhile and when I logged back on and updated my email address I started seeing your posts in my inbox again! I haven’t been over yet but I will soon. Glad to see comforting and familiar faces. 🙂

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